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May 03, 2006



Hmmm...how come there wasn't this type of outrage when Exxon announced record profits?


I really hate to have to label something "parody" when it's so obviously a parody, but this story is not true. This one, however, is.

Erwin Gonzalez

Isn't this The USA? ...the Land of Capitalism? ....the home of Opportunity?
Time Warner isn't exactly price fixing gas for the economy. They are feeding the non-informed what they want, mind candy, and they are laughing all the way to the bank. Why does the gov't get to decide how much profit any company should be allowed to make or what it pays its employees.

Does the Senate realize that they have voted yearly raises for themselves that do not have any equity with inflation or the annual wage compensation of the American worker? Who is investigating that?

Are we attempting to legalize opinion to inform people and businesses how to conduct their affairs?

Since we are at it, can someone please organize GLAAD, HRC and Lambda Legal to file a class action to keep circuit party ticket fees at a minimum too?


cute parody, Mal. But it probably doesn't hold up to closer scrutiny. yes, the media industry is controlled by 4 or 5 behemoths, which is why there was such a brouhaha over Carl Icahn's bid to break us up. breaking up the media industry (which I would support) is a whole different kettle of fish, however. When talking profits, ours don't seem excessive compared to the operating costs of running a media goliath. all one has to do is look at the bloodletting that we experienced recently staff-wise to see that we are far from excessively profitable. we can't even take town cars home anymore! ;)

the oil barons of the world, however, are raking in profits in unprecedented quantities while the price for their product goes apeshit and the supply dwindles. At the very least, they have a very very bad PR problem right now, and it won't take much for hucksters like Schumer to sweep through anti-trust legislation that cripples their industry even further. let's just say they should have seen it coming, but they were too busy feeding at the trough at our expense to care.


This was intended more as a commentary on the political pandering that is going on with the oil industry and ExxonMobil's profits than it has to do with Time Warner. The objections on this site to oil profits seem to be summed up, essentially, as "too many zeroes."

Time Warner just happened to report a big profit on the same day the House price-gouging legislation was introduced, and I thought it would be a good proxy for my parody.

Of course, humor dies in the dissection. ;-)


Oh wait, is this supposed to be funny?


Aatom raises one interesting counterpoint. Another to consider is the strategic importance of oil vs. cable/etc. Historically, those industries that play a crucial role in our day to day lives (electricity, water, etc) are subject to closer government scrutiny. That's all we're seeing here. I mean, if you shut CNN off tomorrow, what happens? You could argue that you're crippling our nation's intelligence community, but come on ... they all watch Fox News now anyway. If you start fucking with our nations oil supply, slightly worse things start to happen. Think back to the 70s, stagflation and all that garbage. There's a pretty convincing reason for the gov't to get involved here, unlike with your cute little TW parody.

Ultimately, what we're seeing here is the result of a totally fucked up energy policy. Not suprising, given the pedigree most Bush policy folks have. Let's see... we're gonna increase our dependence on foreign oil, stonewall any meaningful attempts at curbing energy conservation laws, dawdle with alternative energy policy... and declare war right in the middle of where all that foreign oil is produced! Brilliant! If I were an oilman, I couldn't have thought of a better energy policy.

Admittedly, the (somewhat belated) remedies coming from both sides are pretty boneheaded. But I think this attempt you see from people on the right to pin the blame squarely on the market is pretty stupid. Bush has just as much blame in this whole mess.


Great piece, Mal; maybe Colbert should have hired a real writer with comedic wit --like you prove in this piece-- to write his WH Correspondents "speech" instead of relying on the writers at DNC or CNN headquarters.

Cable is high; people died.


Oh wait, is this supposed to be funny?

Like going on and on about Ethan Reynolds is so brilliant.

Queer Conservative


Mal, you either touched a nerve or most of your readers are humorless.


I heart Big Oil!

Tommy, Athens Greece


Actually, Mal, making fun of Ethan is pretty funny. The jokes practically write themselves.


The parody was of the Senators "quoted" in the piece, right? I think I got it, but too nuanced for the humor payoff.

Queer Conservative

But the real point of this post is ... we'd all fuck Brandon Routh ... (or vice versa)


The Malcontent apologizes too much, methinks.

Funny, on multiple levels, including the parodizing of the sanctimonious Senators.


Hey! Anderson Cooper's cute.

Tommy - Athens, Greece

Queer Conservative

Hey! Anderson Cooper's cute.

He's alright, but not as cute as Adam Housely, Greg Kelly, or Andrew Stack.

John in IL

Andrew Stack makes me want to visit Baghdad.


Hehehe...understood the parody, but my question still remains. Why aren't people more upset by the record profits. Sure, it is simplistic, but the "high" oil prices are the "reason" why gas is so expensive...but, if Exxon is buying and such "high" prices, and still can make profits, much less record profits, then I guess they've more than made up for their "additional" costs...

Instead, our wonderful leaders try to give everyone a bit of hush money.


The whole thing is a travesty, really, and this post was attempting to spead around the oily opprobrium somewhat equally. (That sounds vaguely disgusting.)

The profits are obscene, but so is the amount of money that oil companies have to spend to make those kinds of sums. Lee Raymond's bonus was just ridiculous, made all the more so by his Jabba-the-Hutt-like appearance, which is what Richard Parsons in a blizzard of money was meant to evoke, but he did, after all, preside over a compnay that has been hugely successful.

I know big corporations aren't exactly saintly, but I don't buy into all the conspiracies about how Bush and/or Cheney are engineering this to somehow reduond to their own benefit. Neither of them, frankly, is that smart.

Oil prices are high for a number of reasons, the chief one right now being the fact that every word that comes out of Ahmadinejad's mouth seems to bring the Middle East closer to nuclear war. Ignoring him and the mad mullahs diplomatically or militarily and/or wishing them away would only make a bad situation worse.

Do I wish the Administration had handled Iraq better so that there was more diplomatic and political capital to spend on what is a more pressing matter of national security? Yes. But that is hardly the biggest fly in the whole Iran-related tub of ointment.

Sorry, that was all a bit stream o' consciousness, but I'm suffering from maltitol poisoning right now.


"I know big corporations aren't exactly saintly, but I don't buy into all the conspiracies about how Bush and/or Cheney are engineering this to somehow reduond to their own benefit."

I think this is a misreading of why people are so upset at the oil companies, Mal. Most Americans are practical enough to realize that Big Business is hugely profitable for somebody way up in the food chain. But the record-setting blockbuster profits posted recently by the oil industry are a huge slap in the face to consumers who have been fed line after line about why oil prices keep going up and up. First it was Iraq, then a more vague sense of instability in the region, then Katrina, etc etc. We have all bitten the bullet and shelled out record amounts of money for gasoline (well, not me, I haven't driven a car for 8 years, but I'm unique), and then the curtain gets pulled back and we find the oil barons hunched over a large table counting all of our money. I think it's the vast disconnect between what we are being asked to pay and why, only to find out that the prices are inflated to a ridiculous degree. I don't toss around the word anti-trust lightly, but I think we may be looking at a textbook case of why that type of legislation is sometimes necessary.

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